Smart Moves for Seniors

An Open Resource and Meetingplace for Seniors Thinking About Moving On With Their Lives and provided by Lois Patton, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson and Certified Buyer Representative with Albany Realty Group, Albany, New York. Also visit us at or call 518-459-4564.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

When you are considering applying for a mortgage, ask friends or coworkers to recommend companies with whom they have worked and with whom are they satisfied. You may feel that when you are applying for a mortgage, you are the one being investigated, but you should also investigate the companies you are considering doing business with at this time. There is a tremendous amount of competition for your business, and you really do want to find someone you have aa good deal of confidence and comfort in working with. Take your time to get a good sense of your mortgage broker's style and experience, and ask if they can provide references of those with whom they have worked and those whom you can contact for information. So as you provide financial information in your own application, be sure to do your own research on your own prospective broker. You owe it to yourself, and a good professional broker will appreciate your thoroughness and consideration.

We can help with suggestions and names of brokers you may want to consider. Give us a call!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

In a recent presentation to real estate professionals, the chief accountant for the National Association of Realtors suggested and said that he believes that the current shift from a Seller's to a Buyer's market will "shake out" as sellers adjust to the new reality of the real estate market. In time, and as this shift becomes clear to sellers who have listings which are not moving, sellers will adjust their prices to more realistic levels. This adjustment will, he believes, bring buyers now "sitting on the sidelines" back into the market. This man has met with the "Fed" and they, he believes, will keep interest levels where they are at this point and to the end of the year, which will also encourage buyers to purchase. The media has, he maintains, over-played the so-called "housing bubble" . The vibrancy of the real estate market is critical to the U.S. economy and any number of related industries. There is a national investment in keeping it vital and "robust."

What is going on in your neighborhood, as well as your city and state? It is more likely that factors which are local will have a greater impact on housing sales in your area. Give us a call. We can help to fill you in. Have a great day!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Even when there is a "Pending" or "Sold" sign out in front of a house you are interested in, you can and still should express your interest in it to the listing agent. There are a number of contingencies and points in a sale where a contract may not "go through", so it is always good to let a listing broker and agent know you would like to pursue it if the house goes back on the market. Ask them to call you in the event the contract is cancelled and the house becomes available again. The agent will be glad to know of your interest and the seller, no doubt, will as well. You'll be the first to know when the house is available in that case, and you will have the "inside track" on making the next offer on it, should you want to move ahead with it.

Give us a call. We can help with any related or other questions you may have. Have a great day!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Everyone hopes that your offer on a house or property will "hold firm." When you make an offer on a house by signing a contract and providing a monetary deposit to demonstrate your serious intent to purchase a house, however, read the fine print of the contract carefully to make certain that if the terms of the contract are not fulfilled or met, you're deposit (in full) will be returned to you. A contract often provides for specific issues and concerns which must be addressed and met by a given date (attorney's approval of the agreement, mortgage approval and inspection) or/and it provides (among other things) for your receipt of an acceptable inspection result for the property. Your lawyer may advise you of other concerns and issues or particulars which you should be aware of when he or she reviews the agreement shortly after your offer has been accepted and the contract has been countersigned by the seller.

Working with professionals who know real estate will give you a "heads up" on details that matter. Give us a call or drop us a note at your convenience.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Hoping to make room for something new in your life? Sometimes getting rid of "extra duffle," and cutting back on things you don't need makes room for something you've always wanted. Consider a condominium or a town house if you don't need as much room as you now have. Plan a garage sale and let go of all that accumulated and unused stuff that only weighs you down when you look at it. Perhaps you can give up mowing the lawn and shoveling snow if you find a townhouse or condominium association whose monthly fees cover these services. Rather than worrying about the weather, you can spend more time enjoying a cozy night by the fireplace or taking a cruise or deciding what to take with you to the beach while you're on vacation. Do an inventory of your needs and wishes and consider the possibilities.

Call us or drop us a line. We would love to help make your possibilities a reality. Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

When you have an Open House scheduled, and it rains or snows, don't be discouraged. You can never tell what kind of weather encourages or motivates buyers to come to an Open House. One snowy, cold day, a friend visited an Open House and was the only buyer present. She and the realtor talked about the place and she had plenty of time to look around and begin to feel comfortable in it. She submitted an offer the next day. It was accepted.

It only takes one buyer, and sometimes just the "right" one comes along. Sunny days when more people may seem to be out looking can also be "slim" from the standpoint of prospective buyers. Often those who might otherwise be looking may be out enjoying the good weather rather than looking at houses. You can never tell. Either way, stay open to having an "Open House", rain or shine. It only takes one buyer who is qualified,motivated,and has had a chance to see and want to buy your house.

A realtor can answer any questions you may have. Give us a call! Have a great day!

Friday, September 08, 2006

What is exceptional service? What are you looking for? Make certain you are clear on what you want out of your Broker or Sales agent before you sign an agreement with them. Know what their resources are: Do they know you and what you need/want? Do they know your neighborhood or region? Do they have access to the MLS (multiple listing service) and give you as much information as you need and/or want to know? Do they talk more about themselves than they listen to you? Communication is often challenging, and sometimes confusing, so make sure you hire someone who is a good listener. Once you hire an agent, be sure to, as a friend said, "check assumptions." If you find yourself assuming something will be done, make sure your assumption is correct. Check and double-check your assumptions. That's a smart move in all communication, but it is particularly important in real estate transactions.

We're here to help when you have questions. Give us a call or send us a note. Have a great day!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Wondering how to pick an agent? Perhaps you have a relative who is in real estate, or a friend you've known for years. This person may seem the natural choice for you and you may actually feel a bit obligated to give them your business. Ultimately, though, you must live with your choices and decisions, as in everything else in life. You might make a list of the goals you have for selling your house and more thoughtfully base your decision on the person you finally conclude can best help you to reach those goals. You may want to interview several agents and brokers in the process, and you might want to let all those you interview know what you are looking for as well as how you will be going about your selection. There is really nothing to keep you from making as informed a decision as possible. Remember that you perhaps will live with the consequences of your decision for years to come. You want to make the right decision. Tell those you do not select why you have decided on another agent, whether for personal or professional reasons. Tell the person you select what made you select them. Being "upfront" about your goals, your reasoning and your decision treats everyone in a professional manner. Everyone wins in that case.

Give us a call if we can help. We're here to work for you. Have a great day!